Even in China, David sometimes beats Goliath – though it’s sometimes hard to be sure.
This week, residents of Songjiang – a suburb of Shanghai which has gained fame around the world for having over 10,000 dead pigs floating in its water supply – found that though they could not vanquish the porcine invader, they had scared away an intruder from the corporate world. Shanghai Guoxuan High-Tech Power Energy company said it was abandoning plans for a battery factory in Songjiang, after residents protested on the streets and on the internet against it. Continue reading »
* China’s State Grid secures more Australian assets
* US-China audit fight: Armageddon averted?
* Yahoo spared $2.7bn Mexican damages Continue reading »
China’s property market is suddenly looking a whole lot hotter.
A new housing index covers more cities than any other available gauge, reaching into many of the smaller towns where development has been most frenetic. And lo and behold it has produced a striking conclusion: that property prices are rising twice as fast as official data suggests. Continue reading »
Friday’s picks from beyondbrics: Aung San Suu Kyi and the ex-generals must overcome their past; Qatar is being nudged aside by Saudi Arabia as a main source of arms for Syrian rebels; and Tony Hayward resurfaces. Plus: what’s “going right” in China; Kunming’s unstoppable environmental protests; local brands take the fight to multinationals over consumer spending in sub-Saharan Africa; and debt recovery laws are a must for India’s co-operatives. Continue reading »
Disputes between managers and shareholders aren’t new in Communist China. But now a public row has erupted in one of the country’s oldest businesses – a one-hundred year-old cosmetics manufacturer called Shanghai Jahwa.
Shanghai Jahwa’s predecessor was Hong Kong Kwong Sang, a company that made its name with Shanghai Vive toilet water, a so-called secret weapon of pre-Revolutionary Shanghai ladies.
But the Shanghai-listed company is now making headlines for a different reason: an internal conflict between its top managers and its controlling shareholder Ping An Trust, a subsidiary of Ping An Insurance, the big Chinese insurer. Continue reading »
From Bangkok to Rio, a new-found desire for keeping up with the Joneses among hundreds of millions of people has been helping to keep the world afloat.
But the emerging consumers of Asia, eastern Europe and Latin America are all showing signs of slowing their scramble for clothes, white goods, cars and so on. Daniel Martin at Capital Economics reckons many of them have had to change down a gear for the foreseeable future. The problem is, you guessed it, debt. Continue reading »
* Uruguay’s José Mujica lauds booming Brazil ties
* Mexico banks on stronger economic growth later this year
* Iran’s nuclear negotiator will ‘resist’ west if elected president Continue reading »
Almost like Pavlov’s dogs, journalists and business commentators covering Carlos Slim only have to mention the name before they find themselves following it with the phrase “the world’s richest man”. But as of this week, the Slim watchers out there are going to have to resist their conditioned response.
On Thursday, Bloomberg reported that the Mexican telecoms tycoon had been toppled from the number-one spot on the news agency’s all-time rich list. And guess who’s back in front….yep, it’s Bill Gates. Continue reading »
Remember the tiff between US and Chinese regulators over accounting regulatory standards? You know, the one that resulted in the SEC charging the Chinese affiliates of the Big Four audit firms (plus BDO) with violating US securities law after the five firms allegedly refused to turn over audit work related to nine Chinese companies being investigated for potential accounting fraud?
Well, after a 10-month stand off, it looks like some progress is finally being made to avoid an accounting Armageddon that could have led to the wholesale delisting of Chinese companies on US stock exchanges. Continue reading »
As Google, Starbucks and Amazon have learned to their detriment, companies that take advantage of legal tax-avoidance schemes such as the “Dutch sandwich” and the “double Irish” are right up there with bankers in the public’s estimation.
Peru’s tax office, Sunat, has found a way to help make the medicine go down, it seems, giving companies the option of paying part of their tax bill in the form of regional infrastructure works in some of the countries’ poorest regions. Continue reading »
Japanese carmakers have been pouring money into Mexico in recent years.
Squeezed by higher production costs as a result of the weak yen, many have set up production lines in Mexico, lured by the country’s inexpensive labour and easy access to the key North American market.
In fact, so modern and cost-effective are their Mexican operations that General Motors, the leading US carmarker, this week tapped Nissan to help it build small cargo vans to sell in the US and Canada. Continue reading »
Uruguay’s leftist former guerrilla president, José Mujica, is renowned for telling it like it is. Which is why he doesn’t mince his words, in an interview with the Financial Times, highlighting why he is working on port and rail plans with one of his big neighbours, Brazil and, er, nothing with the other, Argentina. Continue reading »
Battered by falling metal prices and labour unrest, the South African rand touched a four-year low on Thursday of 9.3836 to the US dollar.
And with the mining industry suffering strikes, the economy sluggish and credit rating agencies nervously eyeing the country’s finances, the currency could have further to fall. Continue reading »